Condoms for masturbation?

Originally Published: October 1, 1993 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: February 11, 2013
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Dear Alice,

Can condoms be used for masturbation? Or is that a waste?

—Resourceful

Dear Resourceful,

The choice of whether or not to use condoms during masturbation is dependent partly on your goal and partly on your method of masturbation. Are you using a vibrator or dildo, or are you letting your fingers do the walking? Are you looking to be neat? Getting used to how the condom feels?

For those who use vibrators and dildos to pleasure themselves, condoms can be useful. For both men and women, a condom keeps the dildo clean, which can help prevent infections when a toy is shared, or prevent re-infections in the same person (whether the infection is sexually transmitted, or simply a run-of-the-mill infection, like a yeast infection). Condom use is especially important for women who use dildos and vibrators for both anal and vaginal stimulation. Use separate condoms for each orifice, as moving directly from the anus to the vagina can introduce harmful bacteria into the vagina or urethra and lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs) or other complications (also check out Finger from anus into vagina — Okay? for more info).

If you're choosing to diddle manually, the use of condoms might be taking safer sex a little bit far -- unless you have an active infection that you want to keep covered. The main cause for concern would be the presence of HPV (human papillomavirus, a.k.a. genital warts) or herpes lesions on the genitals. It's a good idea to try to avoid touching HPV or herpes lesions until they've healed — if you do come into contact with any sores, wash your hands thoroughly post-action. Conversely, if you have a wart on your hand, you don't need to worry about passing it to your genitals; genital warts are generally caused by different strains of HPV than warts on other parts of your body.

Another possible reason for using condoms during masturbation would be to keep things neat and tidy during and after your solo-sexcapades. While condoms would work in this respect, many find that tissues, hands, bed sheets, underwear, and so on...work just as well. If you're a novice, using condoms during masturbation may help you get the hang of how to use them and how they feel — that way, during partnered sex, you'll be a prophylaxis pro.

Enjoy!

Alice

March 12, 2014

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Condoms can really make masturbation much more enjoyable. The feel of the condom rubbing against then penis is highly pleasurable. The condom can keep the penis nicely lubricated and avoid getting...
Condoms can really make masturbation much more enjoyable. The feel of the condom rubbing against then penis is highly pleasurable. The condom can keep the penis nicely lubricated and avoid getting it sore. For me, the nicest part is that when I cum, I don't have to worry about catching my semen in a Kleenex, so I can continue to concentrate on my orgasm and I usually ejaculate a few more times than I would have otherwise. Then without having to worry about a mess I can doze off in my afterglow, and dispose of the condom when I wake up.

August 8, 2013

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Hi Alice, my name is Josephine. I really enjoy reading this post you wrote in reference to condoms during masturbation. A lot of people still do not understand the importance of this topic especially...
Hi Alice, my name is Josephine. I really enjoy reading this post you wrote in reference to condoms during masturbation. A lot of people still do not understand the importance of this topic especially when it comes to issues such as whether or not a condom should be used with sex toys. There are many people who share toys with their sexual partners and because of this I personally feel that condoms should be used on toys each and every time unless both partners have been tested for std's. Thank you for such a great educational post.